Chain-store sales show worst holiday season in a decade

Sales at chain stores fell in the last retail week of 2001, concluding what analysts said was the worst holiday shopping season in a decade and suggesting weakness could persist in the new year, two reports showed last week.
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UBS Warburg said their retail chain-store sales index slipped 0.6 percent during the week ended Jan. 5, following a 0 .9 percent rise a week earlier.
Separately, Instinet said its Redbook Retail Sales Average fell by 3.5 percent in the five weeks that ended Jan. 5, compared with the previous period.
December was a five-week month for retailers.